10 Tips For Eating Keto When You Are Eating Out!
There is probably nothing trickier than eating out on a Ketogenic diet. Ok, there are probably lots of things trickier but nothing I have to deal with in my day to day life. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to try to navigate these difficult waters.
Don’t let them put that bread/chip basket on the table – There is nothing in the world more tempting to me than a big basket of chips and salsa, I can tear through multiple baskets of chips in one meal. The only way I could get past that was to just stop letting the waiters bring it to the table. If you are sitting with other people that want to eat it, just ask them to push it over closer to them. Your health isn’t worth a little cheating.
Get your eggs whole – This one was VERY shocking to me when I found out. My brother used to be a cook at Denny’s and he told me that in order to make their scrambled eggs and omelettes fluffier, they add pancake batter to them. No wonder I stopped losing weight after I would eat breakfast out! Turns out this is common practice with most big chains like Denny’s, IHOP and Waffle House. You can do handle this one of 2 ways, either request they don’t do that or just order whole fried eggs. I would also request the eggs be cooked in butter or bacon grease because I’m not sure if they use any kind of seed oils to cook with.
Always order vegetables for the side – Restaurants would prefer you get one of their carb filled options as a side because it’s cheaper. Be sure to replace the rice or beans with some sauteed or steamed veggies, then ask for extra butter.
Check the online menu – If you will Google the restaurant you are about to eat at, they will usually have an online menu with dietary information and possibly even ingredients. Then just look through that until you find something with no added sugars or grain fillers
Call ahead to ask about anything you are unsure about – If you still aren’t sure, call ahead and ask a few questions. As long as you don’t time your call with a super busy time for them, they are usually eager to help.
Stick with the “big piece of meat” dishes on the menu – I tend to stay away from the fancier dishes and just order the dish that consists mainly of a big piece of meat. I’m usually going with the steak or a chicken breast or a pork chop. A restaurant around here does a chicken breast covered in Mozzarella cheese with green chiles sauteed and poured over it and it is amazing or if I’m at a Mexican restaurant the steak fajitas are usually a safe bet. I try to stay away from anything with a sauce (like pot roast or enchiladas) or some crazy seasoning blend that’s difficult to see if it contains sugar.
Remind yourself that one meal isn’t worth undoing your progress – This was had for me at first. I really liked to cheat when I ate out and then it would take me a week to undo the damage to my weight loss. No chips and salsa are worth all that.
Order Oil and Vinegar for your dressing – Ordering a salad? Try to get olive oil and vinegar as a dressing. (not a vinaigrette) Most other dressings use seed oils as a base or contain sugars. No bueno. If you can’t do that, my emergency salad dressing is a few squeezed lemon wedges and salt.
Order extra meat, cheese and bacon – Sometimes the thought gets into your head that if you aren’t eating the bread then there is no way you will not be hungry before your next meal. While one of the strengths of a ketogenic diet is you don’t really get hungry too often, I know that the psychology of having less food on your plate can be difficult to deal with, especially in the beginning. Just order extra meat and cheese. When I’m at a burger place, I get the biggest burger I can order with multiple meat patties, bacon, cheese, avocados if I can get it and plenty of veggies. It tastes awesome and I’m not hungry afterwards.
Don’t be afraid to order individual ingredients – Sometimes you just have to order weird to stay on your diet. I met me son at Taco Bell once and had to basically construct a taco salad out of individual ingredients. I ordered a double helping of beef with veggies and sour cream. Not bad and kept me in ketosis.